On Sunday, the Texas Rangers notched a 12-3 win over the Seattle Mariners, giving them a 38-20 overall record on the year. They sit in first place in a tough AL West by a couple of games. In a vacuum, it was just one win in a 162-game season. However, that victory carried special significance for former SF Giants manager Bruce Bochy.
Former SF Giants skipper and longtime manager reaches new milestone
Bochy is entering his 26th season as a manager. He inked a three-year deal with the Rangers in the offseason. Texas has been one of the more aggressive teams in free agency over the past couple of years, and they needed the right person to lead the Rangers as their next competitive window opens up.
Bochy was tabbed to be that person. And, both the Rangers and Bochy could not have made a better choice. Managers are rarely known for their longevity. When a team struggles, the manager is typically the scapegoat whether the roster is at fault or not.
To manage in four different decades takes skill and instinct among other qualities. Some qualities you can measure easily when it comes to managing. Other qualities you just know a manager possesses.
At this stage in his career, Bochy is known as an old-school manager. Analytics are a big part of today's game and I doubt the 68-year-old intentionally avoids them. I think he has the information at his disposal, but he has a pulse on his players that few can replicate.
And, the proof is in the results. Bochy has experienced the type of success on a baseball field that few can replicate. Exactly nine managers have won more games than Bochy.
On Sunday night, the longtime manager notched win No. 2,041, surpassing former Dodgers manager Walter Alston (2,040 wins) for 10th place on the all-time wins list. He has been to the playoffs eight times, including four World Series trips, and three World Series rings.
He has nothing left to prove, but continues to add to a legacy that will land him in the Hall of Fame when it is all said and done. The Rangers are on an upward trajectory, and if they continue this path, there is no reason why they would not want Bochy to lead them. I mean, the early returns have been fantastic.
The season is young, but his next all-time win milestones will be in 2024. Early on, he will have a shot at Joe McCarthy (2,125 wins) and Bucky Harris (2,158 wins) with an outside shot at Sparky Anderson (2,194 wins). Dusty Baker (2,128 wins) continues to climb the ladder as well.
The Rangers have an impressive cast led by Marcus Semien, Corey Seager, and Jacob deGrom as well as an emerging young star in Josh Jung. The Rangers have the type of cast that could keep them winning for the next several years.
That could put Bochy in even rarer company. Bobby Cox has the fourth-most wins at 2,504. It might be too early to consider where Bochy might end up, but he is proving yet again that an old-school manager still has an important place in today's game.